IPVanish vs. Private Internet Access Comparison (2020)




I used to work as a bookmaker, and in my country, you can’t access most of the betting websites.

To do my work, I needed to find a solution to access them.

The solution was a VPN service, and I went for the ExpressVPN free trial.

My experience with it wasn’t great, as it provided unstable servers.

I needed to address this issue and find a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that would work.

My ideal VPN has to allow me to access websites that I need.

Also, bet with a clear head, if you ever plan on doing that.

So, in this post, I’ll compare IPVanish vs. Private Internet Access (PIA).

IPVanishPrivate Internet Access
Rating3.7 of 5
4.0 of 5
PriceView Best PriceView Best Price
JurisdictionUSA (Five Eyes)USA (Five Eyes)
Logging PolicyNo LogsNo Logs
Speed Reduction±-4.3%±-5.9%
Servers & Countries1,300+ servers in 52 countries3394+ servers in 32 countries
Torrenting / P2P
EncryptionAES-256AES-128, AES-256
Customer SupportCall, Email, Live ChatEmail
Simultaneous Connections1010
Supported PlatformsWindows, macOS, Android, iPhone, AmazonWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iPhone, Chrome, Firefox, Opera
Visit:Go with IPVanishGo with PIA

My Methodology: Things to Consider

A VPN subscription could help you out if you want to watch that Netflix show that premiered a couple of days ago.

Also, if you are not a fan of National Security breathing down your neck, as you go through your cat memes.

If you want your connection to be safe and encrypted, a VPN service should be your first choice.

If you are not that anxious about website trackers and data privacy, you should read our review. See for yourself, as a VPN service could be your best option to access websites blocked in your country.

When you are picking out the best VPN service to protect your surfing experience, you should go through every criterion:

  • Do I want to trust them with my personal data and money?
  • Do I want to use a free service or a service with a monthly subscription?
  • Check the speed limits
  • Connection speeds, especially to regions furthest away from you
  • Encryption types
  • Security layers
  • Supported platforms, and amount of devices connected at the same time
  • Torrenting and P2P support
  • Logging policies
  • Service jurisdiction

If you are looking for a VPN that has a better overall speed limit, IPVanish could be an option, as for a bit pricier subscription plan, it offers more countries and a bit faster connection compared to PIA.

IPVanish Weaknesses and Strengths


  • More countries
  • Has a call support
  • Less speed reduction


  • Higher price
  • Less servers
  • Less encryption types
  • Based in the US (Five Eyes)
  • Had given out logs to the FBI in the past

Private Internet Access Pros & Cons


  • Lower price
  • More servers
  • More support platforms
  • More encryption types
  • Allows bulk purchases


  • Doesn't have a call support
  • Significant speed reduction
  • Based in the US (Five Eyes)

The Five Eyes Are Watching You

Both IPVanish and PIA are under the jurisdiction of the United States.

They are a part of the “Five Eyes” – an international surveillance alliance.

The alliance got its roots from the post-WWII allies agreement for processing intelligence.

The “Five Eyes” always spy on you, collecting and sharing data amongst themselves.

They record what you do, what you watch, and could force a company to hand over data about you. It is like your favorite dystopian movie, only without Chinese takeout and androids.

Winner: Tie

"We Want to Be as Transparent as Possible in Our Policies"

Both companies swear that they are transparent and do not record any logs of your activity.

As they are under US jurisdiction, IPVanish had a hiccup in 2016.

They had shared logs with the US Department of Homeland Security Investigator.

In these logs, they have revealed all personal data about the suspect.

PIA had a similar situation, and they didn’t reveal any information about the person.

Winner: Private Internet Access (PIA)

Popularity (Google Trends Comparison)

From this simple Google Trends query, we can see that IPVanish was far more popular in the past 12 months compared to PIA, especially in the Americas, Africa, and West Europe.

Winner: IPVanish

Cost Comparison

PIA and IPVanish do not offer a free trial but do offer different subscription plans, so let’s get right to it.

Subscription Plans

IPVanish offers monthly subscription at $10.00, 3 months for $8.99/month, yearly at $6.49/month.
IPVanish PricingPrivate Internet Access Pricing
Monthly Plan: $10.00/moMonthly Plan: $6.95/mo
Quarterly Plan: $8.99/moQuarterly Plan: -
6-Months Plan: -6-Months Plan: $5.99/mo
Yearly Plan: $6.49/moYearly Plan: $3.33/mo
Free Trial: NoneFree Trial: None
Money-back Guarantee: 7 daysMoney-back Guarantee: 7 days
PIA provides them at $6.95 for a month, half a year for $5.99/month, and an annual plan for $3.33/month.


Currently, both IPVanish and PIA are running limited time offers on all of their subscription plans.

IPVanish is offering a 17% discount on their monthly subscription, 25% on 3 months and 46% for 1 year. They also offer coupons, so that you could save even more if you choose them.

PIA open up their offering with a 30% discount on a monthly plan, 40% for half a year, and a 67% reduction for a yearly plan. They do not offer coupons but do offer discounts if you are buying in bulk, for multiple accounts, which could be of use if you are running a company that needs VPNs.


Both companies provide a 7-day money-back guarantee, and PIA goes beyond that, offering refunds within the first 7 days of the last payment per their terms of service.

As for me, I like that PIA has a very customer friendly refund policy.

Comparing the subscription prices, PIA has a much cheaper monthly plan.

If you are looking for a longer subscription plan, a year with them costs half of what IPVanish offers. For companies, the option to buy in bulk with a discount is very important.

Winner: Private Internet Access (PIA)

Speed Test Comparison

I made a few speed tests to compare the connection speeds of IPVanish and IPA.

I tested international servers and servers in my region (Europe).

I started with testing speeds of IPVanish servers.

As I live in the EU, I started with European servers (on a 100 Mbps connection).

IPVanish Results:

Initial Connection - Europe:

  • Ping: 2 ms
  • Download: 138.50 Mbps
  • Upload: 280.60 Mbps

Europe (Germany)

  • Ping: 30 ms
  • Download: 78.37 Mbps
  • Upload: 39.21 Mbps

US (Atlanta, Ga)

  • Ping: 142 ms
  • Download: 32.86 Mbps
  • Upload: 22.56 Mbps

Asia (Hong Kong)

  • Ping: 360 ms
  • Download: 6.84 Mbps
  • Upload: 5.31 Mbps

UK (London)

  • Ping: 60 ms
  • Download: 76.23 Mbps
  • Upload: 37.65 Mbps

Under IPVanish, my connection differed from my original one by about 17-19%.

My ping could still see some improvement, especially in Asia and the US.

It makes me wonder if this VPN service is worth it. Considering their prices and the connection speed they provide in the US and Asia. NordVPN offers almost the same speed for less.

And here are the connection tests for PIA:

Private Internet Access Results:

Initial Connection - Europe:

  • Ping: 2 ms
  • Download: 138.50 Mbps
  • Upload: 280.60 Mbps

US (New York City)

  • Ping: 113.84 ms
  • Download: 48.05 Mbps
  • Upload: 37.65 Mbps


  • Ping: 182.51 ms
  • Download: 34.66 Mbps
  • Upload: 34.35 Mbps

Germany (Frankfurt)

  • Ping: 36.64 ms
  • Download: 81.14 Mbps
  • Upload: 75.61 Mbps


  • Ping: 57.39 ms
  • Download: 87.06 Mbps
  • Upload: 63.80 Mbps

During the tests, PIA European results were almost the same as IPVanish.

For the US and Asia, PIA fared a whole lot better than IPVanish.

PIA offers a lot more US and Asia servers at a much lesser price.

Winner: Private Internet Access (PIA)

Servers & Countries

In this criteria, the main question for you is would you choose quality over quantity.

IPVanish gives you a wider range of 52 countries to choose from, with over 1300 servers

. Compared to PIA they have more countries to choose from at the price of fewer servers.

PIA has over 3394 servers in 32 countries, which gives you stability, but not as much variety.

Additionally, IPVanish is forbidden to conduct business with Myanmar, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

PIA, due to the introduction of a new law in Russia, has ceased all operations there.

Private Internet Access

Winner: Tier

Streaming Services Test

VPN services are a very popular way to view geo-blocked content.

In the past couple of years, some streaming services started blacklisting VPN servers.

Netflix has contracts to only stream content within the geographical region.

They look through the suspicious list of IP addresses and ban them.

PIA is developing new ways to combat this, and in the meantime, you can try their browser extension. This extension offers almost the same services as their desktop app.

I’ve seen some people connecting to Netflix via US servers through the browser add-on.

IPVanish currently does not have any plans in developing a workaround. Instead, they offer a Split Tunneling service. If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) allows you to watch Netflix with VPN turned off. This service gives you security and privacy for other apps when you are watching Netflix.

Winner: Private Internet Access (PIA)

P2P Support

Both services are fine with you torrenting, and provide good servers with enough connection speed to torrent anything you want.

They provide kill-switches too, so in the case of your personal data leak, they immediately kill the connection with that server.

And a bonus point for PIA, for having their staff members answering on Reddit posts.

PIA Staff members on Reddit
PIA on Reddit

Winner: Private Internet Access (PIA)

Hi, How May I Assist You Today?

Even though both claim to have 24/7 support, IPVanish already fails in that regard.

They offer call support from 9 AM to 5 PM CT (UTC-6) from Monday to Friday.

Besides that, they have email support, and it usually takes them 1-2 working days to reply.

If you have a question, you could also check their extensive support page.

It offers answers and guides to some common questions, and live chat support.

PIA offers:

  • Email support, that also takes a better chunk of the week to reply.
  • A support page that offers guides and information.
  • A Reddit page, which is moderated by PIA staff, and they are quick to reply.

They also have a forum, but for some reason, you can’t access it from the main page.

I could only find the link through extensive googling.

PIA needs a live chat option so that they can resolve issues within the same day.

I wish PIA could offer call support too. Even though, it’s great that PIA has user forums, where customers can leave feedback.

As far as I’ve checked, IPVanish doesn’t have any user forums.

Winner: Tie

Knowledge Base and Video Guides

Both services provide quite extensive knowledge bases, offering answers to most common questions.
Private Internet Access Knowledge Base

PIA support webpage has an accessible design, and immediately shows you links to the FAQs.
It has 5 categories:

  • Knowledge Base - where you can read helpful articles, and find answers to a variety of questions.
  • Guides - where you can find a step-by-step guide for installation. It also offers video and image setup guides and explanations on each service.
  • News - here they announce their latest developments and changes in their service.
  • Feedback - here customers can suggest features that they would like to see. It is good to see a company listening to its users.
  • Contact Us - gives you a link to their email support.

By looking through some of their guides and articles, I’ve found that they are very easy to understand. As they also attach videos and pictures for each step, I found it very easy to follow.

IPVanish Help Center

IPVanish support page has a much simpler design, and at first glance, it offers a lot less information than PIA.

Their FAQ section on the front page only shows 6 most common questions, while PIA shows dozens.

Their support page has 6 categories:

  • FAQ - 15 articles for the most common questions.
  • Setup Guides - actually, much easier to navigate than PIA's page. They offer a lot of guides, but they do not include video guides, and some of them don't even have pictures.
  • Billing Questions - 13 articles on refunds, 7-day money-back guarantee, and offers. Some of them are step by step guides that are easy to follow.
  • Troubleshooting - common issues, and self-help articles.
  • Announcements - news, updates, developments, and policy changes.
  • About IPVanish - service documentation, and information about VPN.

I like that they have a good structure to their support page.

I would have preferred if they offered more articles in the FAQ.

The lack of video guides is also something they could work on.

Some of their articles that didn’t have pictures also didn’t have an easy to follow structure.

Sometimes I struggled to understand what they wanted me to do to resolve an issue.

Comparing both of them, I lean more towards PIA.

Their article structure and guides are full of pictures, videos, and are easy to follow.

The feedback section is also great to see. As sometimes, the user can think of something developers did not.

Winner: Private Internet Access (PIA)

Security & Privacy

These two words are what the whole VPN industry stands on.

Without security and privacy, no one would need the VPN services.

I’ve looked through both of the services, and both of them have high standards.

PIA ensures that your connection is not exposed and does not leak private data.

They update their services to encrypt your data from the daily emerging malware.

The offered anonymity and advanced firewall keep unwanted connections away from you.

By having a wide range of servers, you can access sites with restricted access in your country.

The technologies they use are compatible with most devices available.

From operating systems to phones, PIA uses technologies that will secure data on them.

Private Internet Access Features:

  • WiFi encryption - if you are using public WiFi or your LAN, PIA protects your physical safety.
  • P2P Support - if you use torrents, PIA has an option of a kill switch. This kill switch will prevent a reconnect request without the VPN protection.
  • PPTP/L2TP/SOCKS5 Proxy - protocols intended for devices that can't run the PIA app or OpenVPN protocol. They mask the user's address, and geolocation, but do not offer encryption.
  • OpenVPN - protocol against eavesdropping, encrypting and masking the address for iOS devices.
  • Blocker for ads, trackers and malware
Private Internet Access features

It is also good to see that PIA offers guides on how to set up the protocols and encryptions.

They make sure that your device has the best possible secure connection.

IPVanish has a wider range of countries so that you have a fast protected connection.

It makes sure that your web use is private, and that your information is secure.

It is serious about your geolocation. Once you connect to their VPN, your address changes to theirs.

Their technologies are compatible with most devices on the market, including Amazon devices.

IPVanish Features:

  • VoIP Services - to keep the bills lower, or to keep your conversation private. IPVanish provides enough servers to contact anyone with ease worldwide.
  • Geo-targeting prevention - masks your real address. By hiding your location, you could avoid ads and targeted marketing.
  • Censorship bypass - to explore the web without restriction based on your country. IPVanish offers servers with secure and encrypted connections, to grant you access.
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS. The app allows you to connect to one of the secure IPVanish servers. By doing that, you ensure that your data is private and you don't leak any banking information to the wrong hands.
  • Public WiFi protection - IPVanish gives you an encrypted tunnel. If you stumble on some malware, or there is a hacking attempt, they will only see encrypted data.
  • Personal information protection. Your ISP always checks packets you are sending. It can see your banking information, internet usage and sell it to other companies. Using VPN, you prevent that inspection, by encrypting your data.
  • IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec protocols. This ensures that your data is at least masked (on older devices) and encrypted (on newer ones).
  • SOCKS5 proxy to mask your address while browsing, though your data is not encrypted.
IPVanish features

Compared to PIA, IPVanish provides articles on every technology they use.

Reading through them, I see that they are very passionate about protecting data.

And as they have more countries to choose from, you could pick one that has the best speed for you.

For me, in this section, there is no winner. Both IPVanish and PIA are hard at work, developing new ways to secure and encrypt your data.

I hope it stays that way, and that they find other ways to ensure their service is the better one.

Winner: Tie

Features Comparison

IPVanish and IPA provide the same amount of 10 simultaneous connections.

IPVanish provides support for platforms such as Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Amazon, all equipped with a user-friendly app, that is easy to use and familiarise with.

PIA supports Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, and with the updated standalone applications for the platforms, PIA has become much easier to use, compared to the past versions.

Winner: Tie


Both of these services could provide you with adequate protection while browsing.

IPVanish could be a choice for you due to its app design, and a wider range of countries.

PIA provides more stable connection speeds, and easy to follow guides to make VPN setup a breeze.

While looking through both of them to choose which one is best for me, I’ve gone with Private Internet Access as it is cheaper. It has a better connection, and more servers to choose from.

This allows me to access restricted websites in my region.

Are the cheaper price and more variety in servers worth it?

You are the one to decide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
  • Hurry, Limited Time Offer

Get 3 Months Free TODAY!

Get 3 extra months of the most popular VPN, hurry up!